HL Group is a diverse mix. We are marketing strategists, media specialists, television producers, journalists, experiential event producers, copywriters, corporate and crisis counselors, public affairs experts and publicists. Our 125+ professionals in New York and LA have a global reach.
HL Group is a strategic marketing and communications firm based in New York City and Los Angeles. We believe that public relations can be the most important element in your marketing mix. We craft rich, tightly structured, multiplatform programs with public relations at their core.
HL Group represents many of the world’s most celebrated brands, spanning an array of categories: fashion, travel and hospitality, retail, interior design, consumer goods, technology, automotive, public service and philanthropy, to name but a few.
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Since beginning work, HL Group & Stella Artois have launched a variety of strategic initiatives including a content-generating campaign at the Cannes Film Festival, social media campaigns with food & beverage digital influencers, and a new brand – Stella Artois Cidre – to widespread acclaim.
As Global AOR for Expedia.com, HL Group drives the brand’s consumer and corporate PR initiatives and manages all global PR teams. Our New York office provides strategic communications counsel to Expedia’s senior leaders and constructs data-driven global narratives that highlight Expedia’s air, hotel, car, activity and loyalty offerings. HL Group is also at the forefront of major Expedia product announcements (e.g. new mobile offerings, site enhancements, etc.) and continually works to expand Expedia’s global tech innovation strategy. Finally, our team drives awareness building initiatives for Expedia leadership among top decision-making media and cultural influencers.
We have garnered feature coverage from the likes of Fortune, Vogue, Time, People and BusinessWeek, and broadcast segments on the TODAY show, Good Morning America and CBS Sunday Morning.
TOMS has also achieved a groundswell of consumer awareness through coveted brand and retail partnerships. HL Group continues to support the brand’s expansion into new product categories including the launch of eyewear, TOMS Marketplace and most recently, TOMS Roasting Co. The result of our joint communications efforts to date is over 10,000,000 pairs of shoes donated to children in need and vision restored to over 200,000 people around the world – and counting.
The team creates integrated strategies for major initiatives including the annual Summer Solstice in Times Square, raises awareness for philanthropic efforts with Girls On The Run, and most recently launched the brand’s first major design collaboration with Derek Lam 10 Crosby.
The team implemented strategic communications, influencer engagement and elevated brand partnerships to reinforce the deep significance that the Baccarat name brings to hospitality. Additionally, our team launched contemporary French restaurant, Chevalier, and generated significant earned media for the culinary team.
HL Group manages corporate communications for Caruso Affiliated and its founder by highlighting philanthropic activities, the company’s positive economic and social impact on Los Angeles and expansion into new initiatives beyond California.
Since engaged, HL Group has secured continuous coverage in top-tier national outlets such as Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Financial Times, DuJour, CNBC, Associated Press among others and has successfully positioned Mr. Caruso as a retail pioneer who is reinventing the brick-and-mortar model to thrive in a rapidly changing social and digital landscape.
Over the course of our four-year relationship, HL Group has applied expertise to a vast range of initiatives and marketing platforms; from executive positioning to product placement to store openings, HL Group strives to consistently communicate the Crate and Barrel point of differentiation as the retailer celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The result of our combined efforts has been vast elevation of consumer perception through design, shelter, lifestyle and business media. Crate and Barrel can regularly be seen in the pages of top publications such as Elle Décor, Food & Wine and The New York Times.
Our communications efforts turned a regional campaign into national front page news and catapulted the brand and its leadership team into the media spotlight. [columnbreak] Leveraging the success of the campaign, HL Group continues to position the company and its executives as leaders in the health & wellness debate, securing high-profile placements in Fast Company, The New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg TV and a recent profile segment on Nightline. Simultaneously, we ensure the products are featured in influential outlets that speak to the core consumer including The Today Show, O Magazine and high-authority blogs.
To achieve Charlotte Tilbury’s national sales goals at launch, the team began work more than one year in advance, building Ms. Tilbury’s profile as one of the most trusted and influential makeup artists in the world via feature stories and media coverage both nationally and regionally. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty exceeded sales goals for the year during the first month of the US launch, with several pieces of the collection selling out completely within hours of becoming available online. Placements secured for Ms. Tilbury have included VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, InStyle, E! News, and Good Morning America, as well as a three-page feature story in WSJ Magazine.
Working in tandem with designer Georgina Chapman and co-founder Karen Craig, HL Group manages the brand’s high-profile image amongst top-tier editors, stylists and celebrities.
Our media relations efforts consistently secure international fashion feature coverage from Vogue to Harper’s Bazaar UK to Tatler Russia. In addition to coordinating NY Fashion Week Runway Shows, HL Group supports brand extensions and collaborations from bridal to handbags to beauty. In 2006 the brand garnered a CFDA Fashion Fund nomination for their vision and has continued to maintain its status as a preeminent international designer fashion brand.
Over the years, HL Group has stood by the side of David Yurman as the brand has launched new category collections, expanded its global retail presence and continually evolved its unique vision.
Today, David Yurman is considered the definitive American jeweler, and HL Group continues our marketing and communications services to help shepherd and protect that iconic status.
We develop a diverse set of newspegs to earn media interest and implement marketing programs to directly influence reservations and sales.
HL Group executes an annual global road-show in markets such as Madrid, Toronto, Dallas, New York and Buenos Aires. We have secured a truly international slate of coverage including Financial Times: How to Spend It, Robb Report Arabia, and Harper’s Bazaar India.
HL Group focuses on maximizing opportunities for DVF that communicate a consistent brand voice through special projects such as International Women’s Day, the DVF Awards held annually at the United Nations and most recently, the 40th Anniversary “Journey of a Dress” exhibition at LACMA.
For each initiative, our team collaborates with the brand to secure features in lifestyle, business and socially-driven media outlets to bolster DVF’s presence as a lifestyle brand and champion for women’s empowerment. HL Group also consistently supports brand growth through global programs such as new category launches like the DVF Home Collection.
The 50th Anniversary campaign reached its peak with a New York Fashion Week runway show for which notable designers created Barbie inspired looks. At campaign conclusion, Barbie’s birthday was front page news nationally and sales jumped 12% in one year, the biggest Barbie sales increase in over ten years.
In recent years, HL Group has helped Barbie search for a new home in the yearlong Malibu Dream Home global campaign, helped celebrate the Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary with the Barbie #unapologetic cover shoot and launched numerous designer doll partnerships including with Karl Lagerfeld. HL Group’s efforts have generated expansive coverage including features in Wall Street Journal, USA Today, WWD, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Departures, and LA Times. HL Group was also awarded a 2012 Sabre Award and a 2014 Cannes Bronze Lion for the work on the Barbie brand.
The New York City venue was transformed to represent a curated selection of the consumer experiences available through the card. Our team also implemented a live social media TagBoard to track #ExpediaVoyager content throughout the evening.
The Events Team designed and produced a custom built stage for models and product showcase, oversized mood and Pinterest boards and a pop-up flower stand for editors to build their own CALIA inspired bouquets using florals from the apparel’s print designs. The space provided a platform for Carrie Underwood and the collection’s lead designer to be interviewed by E! News, creating content for the launch in target media.
The dinner took place on the final night of the tour and was held in two salons in Le Bristol. Editors from top fashion, beauty and lifestyle publications were in attendance.
The extraordinary design, memorable performances and immersive experience encouraged guests to post content to social media in real time. Earned media complemented efforts to create unmatched word of mouth buzz and an overall success for the opening. Click here to watch highlights from the evening!
In addition to the 60,000 sq ft quilt display, HL Group was responsible for producing the initiative’s finale event. The team transformed an empty storefront in the meatpacking district into an Americana themed playground filled with interactive experiences including food trucks, photo booths, carnival games and a milkshake & pie bar featuring roller skating waitresses. Our team also successfully secured entertainment from DJ Samantha Ronson, The Misshapes and host Mary J. Blige.
The multi-layered activation successfully garnered national and local media in key publications such as Yahoo.com, InStyle, Just Jared, Zimbio.com and OK!, among others. The brand was exposed to more than 15,000 targeted consumers throughout the 4 week duration, with an average of 400 consumers per day engaging with the window installation.
Results: 350 key media and influencers attended the event and engaged with the brand first hand, being delightfully immersed into the world of Q&Q. All attendees received a free watch to post to social media, interact with the brand even further post event, and most importantly —enjoy!
Our team creates one-of-a-kind experiences to broaden brand awareness among influential tastemakers and enable them to interact with the prestige brand in a unique way. HL Group has expanded the Mercedes-Benz profile among clients by establishing strategic partnerships with cultural institutions including: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Moroccan National Tourism Office, among others.
HL Group also frequently produces brand-building experiences around high-profile happenings such as Art Basel Miami Beach and the annual Mercedes-Benz hosted Academy Awards viewing party as well as intimate events in regional markets targeting the affluent consumer. Most recently, we worked with Mercedes-Benz to bring to life Transmission LA: AV Club, a month long art experience curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys in partnership with MOCA, featuring 16 artists and multiple performances.
The intimate “Inside the Actor’s Studio” style conversation between Bill Gates and Mark Gordon, moderated by James Lipton, provided a unique experience to explain the new offering and engage the industry elite and potential clients. Large-scale messaging and visuals told an impactful, forward-looking brand story for Corbis Entertainment and its position of authority in the category.
To celebrate the launch, the team curated a series of iconic Waldorf Astoria moments throughout the evening, providing guests insight into the future experience of the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
Through multiple mediums, such as digital mapping, HL Group utilized brand assets to immerse and educate guests on the evolution of the brand story and its luxury position. Additionally, the event generated more than 36 million impressions.
The team transformed a New York City restaurant into a warm and inviting backyard summer garden party with the environment being created solely using SS14 Crate and Barrel product, allowing for a more in-depth brand experience where editors can engage and interact with the product first hand. For the FW ’15 collection, HL: Creative produced a modern take on the Midwestern farm-stand, engaging influencers with a series of interactive activities. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by a shoppable farm stand overflowing with local produce (complimentary) and enjoyed a locally sourced menu, highlighting the #farmtocity process.
More than 40top-tier editors and contributors from publications such as Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, Dwell, Bon Appétit, Lonny, and LUXE: Interiors & Design attended each event respectively and responded positively to the experience. Each of the events generated immediate sample requests and editors shared their favorite items via personal and publication Twitter and Instagram handles.
To kick-off the initiative, HL: Creative devised an experience to educate sponsors, media, and influencers about the Faberge Big Egg Hunt initiative, bringing to life the brand’s personality and key messaging while garnering earned media and buzz. To celebrate the final stage of the world’s largest egg hunt, the team produced an environment that allowed guests to interact with 40 eggs in advance of a finale auction, generating beautiful visual content for social sharing and building excitement to drive the highest possible bids.
As a result of HL Group’s efforts, The Faberge Big Egg Hunt raised more than $1.5 million dollars directly benefiting two charities, while setting a new Guinness World Record for the highest sale of an egg at $900,000 (Jeff Koons). Generated a staggering 863.5 MM+ media impressions.
HL Group was founded in 2001 by Hamilton South and Lynn Tesoro.
We offer our clients the highest level of marketing and communications services; from media relations and corporate communications strategies to flawless event execution, we have an unparalleled record for exceeding our clients’ objectives.
The company boasts an expansive repertoire of services and a distinguished client portfolio spanning fashion, retail, beauty, consumer products, technology, home design, travel and hospitality brands, as well as corporate, media and philanthropic concerns.
Our executive team has decades of experience and deep relationships with influencers and media worldwide. HL Group is a member of MDC Partners, a network of prominent, forward-thinking communications agencies.
To achieve success on behalf of a client, it helps immensely to have been one yourself.
Prior to founding HL Group, our senior leadership built and shepherded global brands. Many of our employees came either from the client side, or from positions in broadcast, print journalism and marketing.
We understand our clients’ challenges because we’ve experienced them ourselves. This allows us to approach client challenges from multiple angles and to deliver counsel that is thoughtful, strategic and impactful.
We are a strategic communications partner that knows ROI is a product of true collaboration and integration. That is why we offer customized strategies that yield measurable results, while delivering bold creative solutions and pragmatic implementation.
HL Group provides executive leadership, unparalleled resources and a wealth of expertise:
Hamilton South is a distinguished marketing and communications executive with years of experience counseling some of the world’s most noteworthy brands.
Mr. South oversees corporate advisory services to global consumer products, technology and luxury lifestyle brands. Mr. South also serves as a Strategic Advisor to Fireman Capital Partners and sits on the boards of Baccarat (EPA: BCRA), Diane von Furstenberg and David Yurman.
Mr. South is considered a noted authority in the luxury goods, consumer brand, and new media sectors. He has spoken at the WSJ Executive Marketing Summit, National Retail Federation and Luxury Interactive Summit. He is frequently quoted in prominent media outlets such as The Economist, Forbes and The New York Times.
Prior to launching HL Group in 2001, Mr. South served as President and Chief Marketing Officer of Polo Ralph Lauren. Overseeing all brand marketing, advertising and new business development for Polo brands worldwide, he spearheaded RL’s brand transition from a private to publicly-traded company. Mr. South was also an Editor-at-Large for Vanity Fair magazine and a Director of Public Relations at Giorgio Armani SpA.
Lynn Tesoro is a globally recognized communications executive with extensive knowledge of fashion, luxury and lifestyle-related businesses. Ms. Tesoro is consistently retained by top consumer brands to identify growth and positioning strategies.
She has been associated with many noteworthy brand launches and advises a distinguished roster of clients who rely on her as a long-term communications partner and counsel.
Prior to founding HL Group, Ms. Tesoro was Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing at Polo Ralph Lauren overseeing media relations, marketing, launch initiatives and advertising across all Collections and brands within the Ralph Lauren portfolio.
She was Global Vice President of Communications and Special Events at Calvin Klein, during a period of significant expansion. Ms. Tesoro started her career at Giorgio Armani where she and Hamilton South began their long-standing partnership.
A partner since 2007, Guillermo Zalamea has been integral to the firm’s growth across a range of categories, particularly menswear, home design, art and architecture. Mr. Zalamea is based in Los Angeles overseeing the firm’s West Coast operations.
Prior to joining HL Group, Mr. Zalamea served as Fashion Editor of Esquire for eight years, where he conceptualized and produced the magazine’s monthly men’s fashion coverage. His editorial background, trend forecasting experience and depth of market intelligence make him uniquely qualified in helping clients build media-worthy brand messages.
After his time at Esquire, Mr. Zalamea was Director of Public Relations for Giorgio Armani SpA and Senior Director of Public Relations & Marketing for Polo Ralph Lauren. He also directed the marketing and public relations team that launched designer John Varvatos domestically, in Asia and in Europe and was a founding contributing editor for Out Magazine.
Mr. Zalamea is fluent in Spanish and often works with cultural institutions and clients focused on the Latin American market. He is a noted authority in the Home Design category and has stewarded HL Group’s Shelter division for five years. Mr. Zalamea has appeared as a keynote speaker at interiors industry conferences, including the Design Leadership Summit.
With a depth of cross-category strategic marketing and communications experience, Amy Hufft serves as HL Group’s President, overseeing the agency’s growth strategy, client services and overall operations in both New York and Los Angeles. Previously Executive Vice President and an HL Group executive since 2010, Ms. Hufft is responsible for shepherding client strategies to meet objectives, organizing cross-functional efforts across PR, experiential, digital, influencer relations and other areas and collaborating with practice leads to develop integrated strategies.
Ms. Hufft was most recently Vice President of Strategic Development for Sage Collective, an Omnicom-owned experiential agency focused on premium brands. At Sage, she was responsible for business development and managing experiential programs for clients including Visa Signature, Mercedes-Benz and Rockport.
Prior to Sage, she spent four years at Harrison & Shriftman where she oversaw the execution of marketing programs and strategic partnerships for lifestyle brands. While at H&S, she developed and oversaw the marketing and PR efforts for the launch of Bacardi-owned Corzo Tequila, and was the senior strategic lead on the Grey Goose Vodka account. Other clients included Veuve Clicquot, UGG Australia, Samsonite Black Label, Nintendo, BlackBerry and W Hotels Worldwide.
Ms. Hufft has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia Business School.
Chris Giglio has over twenty years’ experience in public relations, crisis management and journalism. Previously he has held positions at Kroll Associates, the investigations firm; NBC News, where he served as an investigative producer on Dateline; Rubenstein Associates, where he counseled corporate and legal clients, and most recently as the Vice President of Global Communications at the Estee Lauder Companies. In 2009 he established the corporate and crisis practice at HL Group.
Mr. Giglio has represented and become a trusted advisor and counselor to a diverse portfolio of clients including corporations, financial institutions, executives, celebrities, estates, athletes, as well as academic and philanthropic institutions. He is a recognized expert in executive positioning and crisis management. Throughout his career he has spent considerable time working in Asia and the Middle East.
In his current leadership role at HL Strategic Solutions, Mr. Giglio oversees executive positioning, global media campaigns and reputation management for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to international financial entities to civic endeavors.
Michelle Stevenson is an Executive Vice President in HL Group’s Los Angeles office. Her focus is on growing existing client relationships and driving new business.
Most recently, Ms. Stevenson was a managing director at Burson-Marsteller, leading the Consumer and Brand Marketing team in Los Angeles. She brings with her more than a decade of experience in brand-building, integration, strategy and creative problem-solving. With an expertise in consumer and brand marketing, travel and tourism, and entertainment, Ms. Stevenson has worked on clients ranging from lifestyle brands in the jewelry and paint spaces, consumer electronics, state tourism boards, gaming companies and hotels. Campaigns that she has managed have won In2 Sabre and PR News Social Media Icon awards, and been a finalist for a variety of others.
Prior, Ms. Stevenson was a SVP at Fleishman-Hillard Los Angeles where her clients included international tourism boards, airlines and franchise businesses. She also served as global co-chair of the firm’s entertainment practice.
Ms. Stevenson began her career at Sony-based Jaffilms and Warner Bros.-based Bel-Air Entertainment.
Kimberly Flaster has over 15 years of experience in the fashion and lifestyle communications industry. At HL Group, she oversees strategy for the agency’s fashion division which includes mass to luxury clients across apparel, accessories, footwear and retail.
Kimberly has built extensive international and local media relationships and often partners with influencers and industry leaders on behalf of the agency’s client roster. She has also amassed extensive events management experience, having project managed activations ranging from store openings to 1,000+ guest runway shows.
Previously, Kimberly served as the VP of Communications of the PUIG Fashion Group (Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne), where she oversaw all marketing and media outreach, retail events, charity partnerships and fashion show production. Flaster has also led PR efforts for top brands including Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci and Christian Dior. In 2009, Kimberly co-founded The Project, a PR and special events agency with clients including Rizzoli, The New York City Ballet, Lands’ End, T. Anthony, Domenico Vacca, and W Magazine.
Devon Nagle is a strategic communications executive with extensive experience in external brand positioning, client service, marketing communications, employee engagement, crisis management and media relations, with a specialty in writing and narrative development.
Nagle is particularly skilled at translating complex industry issues for a broad audience, leveraging a range of channels and communications disciplines. He has more than 20 years’ worth of PR experience and has led successful communications campaigns for such brands as Michelin Guides, Bolthouse Farms, Expedia, Stella Artois, Google, Ralph Lauren, MasterCard and Sprint.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University.
Drawing on a depth of experience in news and politics, Ms. Reingold serves as a counselor on media strategy and corporate positioning. As an Emmy Award-winning Producer of Special Events with CBS News, she covered major global events — from the Persian Gulf War to Election Day. As Media Director for the 1992 Democratic National Convention and the Democratic National Committee, Ms. Reingold gained even greater insight into the world of public opinion. Today, Ms. Reingold retains an extensive network of relationships both in journalism and publishing. In addition to supporting HL Group in a cross-team capacity, managing client projects, forging partnerships, and integrating firm-wide strategies, Ms. Reingold continues to lead the firm’s expertise in the civic and philanthropic space.
Ms. Langbein, an HL Group executive since the firm was founded in 2001, has extensive experience in luxury product communications and marketing. At HL Group, she specializes in strategic planning and oversees all jewelry-related clients. Prior to joining the agency, she was a consultant for Tiffany & Co. Previously at Calvin Klein, Inc. as Director of Public Relations, she was instrumental in the launch of the Calvin Klein Home collection. Ms. Langbein began her career as a general assignment newspaper reporter and shifted to the field of public relations as Director of Corporate Communications for a national fashion retailer. She has also worked, independently, with clients to elevate editorial coverage, brand identity, celebrity product alignment, and consumer cultivation.
Whether crafting a marketing audit, recommending partnership opportunities or preparing a media plan, HL Group offers in-depth analysis and advisement with specific business objectives in mind. We develop programs that launch, grow or re-establish a brand’s presence and – in both strategy and execution – deliver a distinctive, consistent brand message.
HL Group’s long-standing editorial relationships give clients a considerable advantage in the pursuit of earned media across print, broadcast and digital channels. We leverage that press network to execute impactful campaigns in top-tier media outlets across a broad array of categories. The result is increased brand awareness and elevated profile within target markets.
HL Group strengthens corporate standing in the public arena. Our team employs media relations, executive positioning and reputation management to project a company’s desired image. In addition, HL Group offers extensive expertise in minimizing the impact of crises or potentially negative news. We proactively manage sensitive news on behalf of our clients, such as high-profile dismissals, lawsuits and other issues that may damage corporate image.
HL Group conceives and executes events ranging from pop-up environments to Fashion Week shows to product launches, all customized to serve as extensions of brand identity. Merging expertise in both creative concepting and logistical execution, HL Group provides access to coveted brand partners, exclusive venues, VIP hosts and influential attendees. The result is a unique event experience that garners industry and consumer attention. Click here to view our latest creative work.
HL Group cultivates a network of high-profile individuals who influence targeted consumer markets and lend cultural cachet to our clients. Our access to celebrities, thought-leaders and tastemakers furthers client exposure at an exponential rate. With a Los Angeles office entrenched in the entertainment industry, we develop celebrity dressing programs and secure high-profile event hosts and attendees.
HL Group believes in the importance of translating brand DNA into authentic digital presence. Our digital PR and social media programs help brands bridge the gap between traditional and digital. HL Group’s social media experts work with brands to develop social identity, distribute multimedia content and cultivate online audiences as well as social communities. Through direct engagement with high-authority forums including blogs and social networks, we help clients optimize their online brand experience.
HL Strategic Solutions is a specialized division of HL Group that focuses on executive advisory, corporate communications and transaction research designed to elevate and/or protect a company’s leadership position or an individual’s credibility. Its services include managing corporate communications for a variety of legal or sensitive matters such as executive transition, litigation support, public affairs, labor issues, restructurings, issues management, market entry assessments and government investigations. The practice also focuses on public affairs and provides a research offering designed to support market entry and due diligence. Information: hlstrategicsolutions.com
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